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Monday, April 21, 2014

Summer snaps and cute cousins




 




A little collection from the Summer school holidays, back in January. The kids have been having great play days this school holidays, too, and I wanted to make sure I put these up as they are so fun!

This last photo makes me feel especially happy :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There's always room for a story


Last year I came across a new Pozible project which just sounded so delightful to me! Since then Story Box Library has launched, and continued to grow into a gorgeous website and resource.

Basically you have videos of a variety of children's books being read out loud. Fantastic illustrations, little animated intros and some great personalities reading the stories are some of the ingredients which make this such an awesome website.


During the school holidays, I played a few stories to the six kids I had for the day (my 3, plus two nephews and my niece). With ages varying from 4 to 10, they were all enthralled and happily entertained, all wanting to choose a story. We all enjoyed the sweet Today we have no plans and then A really super hero had them giggling.




I think my current favourite would have to be Herman and Rosie, but I haven't actually watched every story yet :) Some of the readers include the divine Clare Bowditch, Andy Griffiths, Missy Higgins and Nick Cave.

Since attending the Big Hearted Business (un) Conference last year, the brainchild of Clare Bowditch, I met Nicole Brownlee, one of the clever and creative peeps behind Story Box Library. She is just so lovely that I wanted to help spread the word :) Plus, I'm totally on board with anything that brings imagination and storytelling to our kids!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Enderman, Creepers and Steve, Oh my! - Minecraft inspired bedroom project

A couple of months ago I was staying with my sister in the Adelaide Hills, and she challenged me to help her redecorate her 7 year old son's bedroom. Caden didn't spend much time in there, and was reluctant to sleep in his new loft bed. Cue operation Caden's bedroom!

The first step was choosing a special interest to engage Caden with the project, and make sure he would be excited about his very own room redesigned just for him. It wasn't hard to narrow it down to Minecraft for our main inspiration, and some of the block elements of the game suited soft furnishings and wall art perfectly.

I love a challenge, and a budget. Trusty IKEA was the main source of decorative elements and furniture, with a few Kmart bits and pieces added. I also created three custom canvases to tie the theme together clearly and add some colour to the walls. The fun bit about that was the kids joining in, and Caden created his own Minecraft canvas that was a bit smaller and sits on his desk.


Colour scheme: Green, red, white and black with a tiny touch of blue, grey and yellow.

Resources: IKEA, Kmart, Cheap as Chips

Existing furnishings: Black-brown loft bed with desk attachment, black storage unit under the window.

Challenges: A rental meant that painting wasn't an option. Flexible landlords meant that wall art and new window dressing was fine. Also, storage was important, but more space for toys than clothes, being a real boy's room. A light had to be clearly visible from the bed.

Budget: $700 including furniture. I think we went a tiny bit over, with the light bulbs and more expensive window option, but it was very close.

Style: My sister's home and decorating style is clean, uncluttered with simple, strong colours. She doesn't tend to collect or feature vintage / secondhand furniture.




The Ender Man lamp was super quick and easy to make. I bought a black square lamp and cube design acrylic lamp base, which already came together, for a total of $10 I think it was from Kmart. A couple of strips of white bias binding were cut and adhered with double sided tape. Finished!

The black shade means it isn't super bright, and can act as a night light to be left on while sleeping.

The storage shelves and boxes were all from IKEA. These are Pallra boxes with lids on a Molger shelving unit.


We chose red and white for the bed, to imitate the beds in minecraft houses. I bought a discounted queen size quilt cover from IKEA and cut it down to size. A fresh white pillowcase was from Kmart.



Some cheap scatter cushions were bought from both IKEA and Kmart, and I hand stitched some black bias binding fabric pieces on to one of the green cushions to make a 'Creeper' head cushion.

 
To keep the look clean and simple, but still echo the Minecraft inspiration, we chose these window panels as blinds. They are from IKEA, and have a grey square pattern on it to keep with the block theme. Other than the bed, the black storage drawers beneath the window were the only original furnishings kept in the room.

Two square rugs of 'grass' were bought from IKEA as well, also chosen to suit the Minecraft block inspiration, as grass blocks are an integral part of Minecraft world building. A green Trogan wardrobe from IKEA was added, as Caden needed some new clothes storage, and the various tones of green throughout the room kept things coordinated without being perfectly matching. The wardrobe accounted for almost half the entire budget.


A few canvases and some simple art supplies from Cheap as Chips gave me something to do for quite a few hours during Adelaide's record-breaking heatwave! The kids also completed some art work while I was at it. I made three block-based wall art pieces, simply by measuring 64 squares on each canvas and painting the blocks in different colours.

We have a cloud block above a touch of grass, a grass block with dirt and a Steve face canvas. I like how the block design is a contrast with the imperfect brush strokes and colour! If you are more of a perfectionist, it would actually be quicker and a cleaner look to create prints on the computer ;)




The final few touches were two Drona storage boxes (these things are cheap and surprisingly big!) to sit on top of the wardrobe, and a fun click together clock, all from IKEA.

A few months later and Caden still enjoys his room, and happily sleeps in his bed with the Enderman lamp on in the corner :) Mission accomplished!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Curious Autumn competition winners - Family photography, Dandenong Ranges

Earlier in the year, Curiouser ran a competition called Curious Autumn. Our Facebook winner was Nikki, and we had a sweet family session at her home in Lilydale. Here are a few of my faves :)

This little girl had the most gorgeous variety of expressions, and she was so happy! I really love this first one. Something about her face, and the grassy background, makes me smile every time.


 


 
 


This last one is my favourite family shot, I love the curve of bub's face as she looks away and the love in mum and dad's faces as they look at their daughter :) Lovely sweetness.

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Small Forest Shop, handmade Gippsland sweetness

Wendy Hill is a lovely friend of mine and an amazing creative. Right at the end of last year she opened up a gorgeous little shop in an almost-hidden arcade in Warragul, in the Gippsland region of Victoria. It was really fun watching Wendy's Instagram updates as they prepared the shop for opening!

Here are some shots from opening night, which was a really fun party with clothes to try on and people to meet :) If you happen to visit the area, you'll find The Small Forest Shop at Shop 2, McLennan Arcade, Warragul. You can also find Wendy's lovely wares on etsy - https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/smallforestshop













Into the woods!